Cut out (for it), and Working Out (to it)

Do you ever have those days when you wonder if you’re really cut out for this? And by “this”, I mean basically anything. :P This mama thing, with two full-blown toddlers around, is very challenging to me. It requires of me things I’m already bad at (i.e. patience and endurance, for starters), and there are days when I feel like I am seriously not cut out to do this. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone around at that moment to hand my resignation to, so I just have to keep on… ;)

I have days when I think I can’t even make it one more minute. Days when we just got home from the grocery store, where the kids (ok mainly Rowen) haven’t been listening, have been crying for this or that, running away, and then they go to play in the backyard while mama unloads groceries - only to hear a scream from the small one in the backyard - who has just had an entire bucket of dirt dumped over his head. In the space of 5 minutes. And it’s not just the one small thing. It’s the whole bundle of small things, reminding me that yes, indeed, this whole patience and endurance thing is an area of weakness for me (of course while I’m dragging two screaming toddlers in to wash hands and get ready for naps, I’m not necessarily so detached as “ho hum, this is an area of weakness for me”, but rather “AAGHAGHIAAGAAHAGHA I can’t take this!” All in my head, of course). And like sand in your shoes, small things add up to big blisters. And oh yeah. That was today.

And then comes naptime. ;) Recharge, regroup, go forward, get some stuff done. Or just nap. Naptime is this toddler mama’s salvation. It’s like the reset button for my life. Scrapbooking is like that, too. I get the chance to sit back, look at photos, smile at memories, and really THINK about what makes my life mine, and makes it good, and celebrate it with pictures and Photoshop and words. Scrapbooking is a lot of things to a lot of people. But that’s what it is to me. Celebration. Determined celebration. And sometimes that celebration takes a little more effort to get to than other times. ;)

I happened upon Lisa Bearnson’s blog today - where she posted a quote in relationship to her weekend’s experiences at the funeral of a friend, but which struck me today, for me (love how this happens):

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our eduation, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts and expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God.” Orson F. Whitney.

Tender? Charitable? If you had seen me at 1 p.m. this would not have been the case. I was pretty much the ready-to-boil over, fiery-eyed Angry Mama, brushing dirt out of Elliott’s clothes while Rowen smirked at me (smirked! ack! was this the worst part? Probably). But it passed. Whew. I like to think I’m better than I was a year ago, at least at a few things. And I like to think that this enduring (rather than enjoying) that sometimes happens, is a good thing, too.

Writing about it helps, where scrapping about it doesn’t. That seems weird. But I scrap what I want to remember. I don’t think I “edit” my life - but there are certain things that I think are worth remembering, and choosing matching patterned paper and embellishments for, and other things that are worth a passing mention, and for the others (which are better left unsaid, but which you benefit from in ways like the quote above), remembering the lessons and the benefits and the qualities you develop on the rocky road (mmmm… Rocky Road… ahem. Sorry) that are worth remembering, too.

If I seem like a Cheerful Chirpy on my blog, or in my pages, this is why. My honest answer. Determined celebration.

Abs? I have Abs?

In other news, I am working out again. Okay, so that started today, and I don’t know if you can use the gerund when it’s only been a one-time thing so far. But I AM WORKING OUT again. There. Out there. Now I have to live up to it.

I remember being in shape. I still remember almost exactly 4 years ago when we held our very last rank advancement as capoeira  teachers (I found out two months later that I was pregnant, and quit teaching). I was working out 6 days a week. I was, you might say, totally ripped. :P I was, at 27, in the best shape of my life.

It was a huge part of our life for 3 years, and a huge part of mine for a few before that. Here’s an old layout I made about it. Not the greatest page ever, but still meaningful. :) (That’s me, upside down in the big pic.)

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4 years, 2 kids, and about 20 pounds later, not in such great shape (unless rounded counts as a shape). I  miss it. I miss both capoeira and being in great shape. I miss the working out that didn’t feel like a workout. I miss the music and the drums and the singing and the friends. And the game. Ahhh.

It takes like half an hour to explain to someone what capoeira is. A game. A dance. A fight. A thing you do in this circle of people who are singing and clapping, where you throw spinning kicks that aim for but do not hit the other person. They know when you could have killed them and didn’t. Beautiful. If you haven’t seen it in action, here’s a little clip. This is a group called Abada’, the largest capoeira organization in the world. There are two distinct styles of capoeira, and this is the one I played, called regional (pronounced heh-gee-oh-nahl in Porguguese).

Perhaps you can see why, after this, a long stint on the treadmill just doesn’t appeal to me as a workout. But I was good after Rowen was born, back at the gym and working out, since capoeira with a little one was out of the question. Then Elliott, and then the heart condition kept me on bedrest for most of the pregnancy. He came, and then I had two kids, and a million tiny excuses. I have a closet full of my old work clothes. I like them still. I want to wear them again.

But yay me! I just finished my first Hip Hop Abs session with my man Shaun T. He is funny and energetic, and despite years of drill team and dance lessons and capoeira, I learned that this white girl can’t dance. He kept saying, “Now tighten up those abs!” And I was like, “I am!.. At least, I think I am? I don’t know?” Here’s hoping THAT feeling gets better…

I’d love to know what motivates you to exercise.  What’s your preferred form? DVDs? Gym? Treadmill? Hitting the pavement?

So Hip Hop Abs = fun. Working out again = fun. Missing capoeira = not so much fun, but I’ll go back to it. We’ll join capoeira again here in NC when the kids get bigger. Everything has a season. Gonna do this thing. Gonna find my abs again. And maybe tomorrow I’ll feel more cut out for the mama thing, too. :)